Eneko Llanos of Spain won the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, defeating a star-studded field with a time of 6:34:37. The unique race distance of 3k swim / 200k bike / 20k run didn’t seem to favor the 3-time XTERRA World Champion but he was quietly confidentafter spending more than a month preparing in Lanzarote. A large pack of men exited the water together and rode in a pack for much of the ride. Once on the run, Eneko pulled away from heavy race favorite Rasmus Henning and German Dirk Bockel to pocket $50,000.
In the women’s race, Virginia Berasategui overcame a terrible bike accident just a couple of weeks before the race to gut out an impressive 3rd place finish. The diminutive Bilbao resident rode her way through the pack and into third place. Despite nagging injuries from the bike versus car incident, she ran tough and secured the final podium spot. Team TBB’s Caroline Steffen had an equally good performance, finishing less than 3 minutes behind Virginia for fourth.
AVIA athletes captured five of the top ten spots in the women’s race with Berasategui 3rd, Steffen (TBB) 4th, Lucie Zelenkova 8th, Rebekah Keat (TBB) 9th, and Tereza Macel (TBB) 10th.